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How Long Does A Laptop Last?

Deciding whether or not you should replace your old laptop can be difficult. Even if the old one still appears to be in good shape, you can’t help but think it’s high time to get a new one.

How can you be sure? How long does a laptop last? Well, the answer depends on so many factors as there are different types and sizes of laptops from different brands.

Nevertheless, we’ll be discussing all of the factors to help you get an idea about how long your laptop should last.

Also Read: Best Laptops For Architects Under $500

Factors That Affect Laptop Longevity

1. Price

Normally, you would expect an expensive laptop to be of quality and hence last longer. Conversely, you would suspect that a low-priced laptop isn’t quality enough. This is true although there are some exceptions.

For instance, a laptop that costs up to $1,000 cannot be the same quality as one that costs below $500. Most gaming laptops that come with high-end hardware and software are very expensive.

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So, if you’re wondering how long your laptop will last, ask yourself, how much did I spend on it? A low-priced laptop model can last anywhere between two to three years on average.

Medium capacity laptops, laptops that are not too cheap and not so expensive, can last for up to four years and even five. However, very expensive laptops that you pay up to $1,000 for can last more than five years. Some can last for up to 10 years even.

2. Use

Another question to ask is, what will I be using the laptop for? All laptops age and how fast they age depends on the tasks they run. Today, some of the common uses of laptops include playing games, online browsing, playing multimedia, and studying.

If you use your laptop for browsing, sending emails, or business in general, its lifespan will be different from the laptop of a hardcore gamer or a video and graphics editor.

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Email and word processing programs are very light compared to games and video/graphics editing software.

High GPU and CPU tasks will consume more resources and have a major impact on components like your hard disk and processor.

While they won’t outrightly damage these components, they’ll affect their performance over time. Simply put, if you only use your laptop for light tasks, there’ll be less strain on your hard disk, processor, and others. As a result, they can last longer.

3. Maintenance

It’s almost impossible to avoid damage to your laptop. You can accidentally drop it, drop something on it, hit it, or spill stuff on it. However, if you let these happen more frequently than they should, you shouldn’t expect your laptop to last.

Laptops are fragile, with most being made with plastic and then there’s the screen. Some of the most common causes of laptop damage include broken screens, hinge failure, and water damage.

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If you can take good care of your laptop, you can avoid these to a great extent. In turn, it increases your laptop’s lifespan to a great extent.

However, when it comes to maintenance, it’s not only about the outside but also the inside of the laptop. You should properly maintain your RAM and storage spaces. Get rid of unwanted files and programs.

Also, install a good antivirus to provide security. If your laptop is run over by viruses and malware, it’s as good as a physically damaged laptop.

4. Brand

If you want to purchase a Windows laptop, you have a lot of popular brands to choose from like HP, Dell, Samsung, Asus, Acer, and Lenovo, amongst others. However, if you want a Mac laptop, you can only go with Apple.

Many people will argue that some laptop brands are longer lasting than others. In some comparisons, this is true without a doubt. For example, Apple laptops are said to be more durable than any other laptop brand.

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Recent MacBooks are made with aluminum as opposed to plastic. Furthermore, Apple uses a solid-state drive for the hard disk which can withstand mechanical damage. According to Macworld, a MacBook lasts for around five to eight years.

HP, Acer, and Lenovo laptops can last from three to five years, while Microsoft laptops for four to five years. It’s safe to say a good Apple laptop will last longer than any other laptop brand. Nevertheless, it still depends on the model and features of the laptop.

5. Hardware

Hardware is what makes or breaks a laptop; it’s the most important factor that affects a laptop’s longevity. If a laptop has a good hard disk, graphics card, processor, high RAM, and storage space, it’ll last for a long time.

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If your keyboard or screen has an issue, you can easily repair them and continue using your laptop. However, if core hardware like your Motherboard, Processor develops a fault, you don’t have better options than getting a new laptop.

Hardware takes into account some other factors already mentioned. Good hardware will allow efficient use and reliable laptop brands make their products with the best hardware.

6. Software

Finally, you can’t skip the software. The software here implies more of the operating system than programs. If you’re purchasing a laptop that doesn’t support the latest OS, you can’t use it for long.

Take Apple laptops, for instance, models like the MacBook Air (mid-2013 and older), MacBook Pro (2012 and older), and Mac mini (2011 and older) are all obsolete.

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While they might still appear durable, they won’t support the latest Mac programs and features. Hence, you’ll be forced to get a more recent product. The same applies to Windows. There are some Windows computers out there that can’t install the latest Windows 11.

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How Do You Know When Your Laptop Needs Replacement?

If any of the following describes your laptop’s situation, it’s time you get a new one:

Your laptop is slow

An unmistakable indicator of an old laptop is when everything feels slow. For example, it takes a while to boot, programs take a long time to open, it hangs when changing windows or tabs, and files take very long to copy.

Your laptop slowing down can be due to insufficient RAM, a faulty hard drive, or damaged components. In some situations, you can make some upgrades to help with these issues but in others, you won’t be able to do much other than to replace it.

Your laptop doesn’t support the latest OS

The two main laptop operating systems in the world are Windows OS from Microsoft and Mac OS from Apple. Apple and Microsoft make it easy to check your laptop’s best before date.

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There are minimum requirements for each new version of Windows or macOS. If your laptop doesn’t support the latest Windows or Mac OS versions, it simply means it’s outdated and could use a replacement.

Your laptop has a poor resolution

A laptop’s display resolution is a good way to know its age. For instance, some old laptops can’t display a resolution higher than 1024 x 768. Meanwhile, most new laptops come with HD, UHD, and 4K display panels.

The result is higher resolutions, better colors, illumination, and better viewing angles to name a few. It won’t be difficult to see the difference if your laptop is old.

Your laptop gets very hot

Does your laptop heat up easily? Heat-related problems are common as laptops get older. It happens due to the age of internal components, the work they’ve done over the year, and the amount of heat generated inside the laptop’s chassis.

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Also, dust build-up in the laptop cooling vents can clog the system and make it impossible for your laptop to stay cool. With an old laptop, overheating is one of those major indicators that it’s time to get a new one.

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Your laptop crashes regularly

It’s common for old laptops to crash if you try running recent programs and files. Even a new laptop can crash if the program you’re running is bigger than it can handle.

Whether it’s an old laptop or a new laptop with poor specs, your laptop crashing while working on unsaved work can be very bad. To save yourself the stress, you should get a new one that meets your requirements.

Your battery dies easily

Laptops are more popular and preferred over desktops because they’re portable. However, if you have to always connect your laptop to a power source to use, it becomes less like a laptop and more like a desktop.

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A well-functioning laptop can work for hours without a power source. Although the battery life reduces with age, you can always replace it. However, what happens if you can’t find the laptop battery? It’s out of stock or worse, out of production?

Also, sometimes it can be less about the battery and more about the laptop’s OS and software. Your battery may still not last even after changing it. Nothing screams get a new laptop as much as this.

How Can You Make Your Laptop Last Long?

If you want your laptop to last a while, here are some things you can do:

Keep your laptop clean

As obvious as it sounds, keeping your laptop clean really helps extend its life. Particles like dust and food crumbs can easily get into your laptop and damage hardware components.

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You should not just clean the outside of the device, use an air duster to remove particles from tight corners in between keys and ports. Furthermore, avoid eating or drinking near your laptop.

Make sure it is secure

Where do you store your laptop? How do you store it? How do you transport it? All of these determine if your device is well secured.

You should store your laptop in a safe spot where it can’t be readily damaged. When transporting, use a padded case and if possible, try to carry your laptop around less.

Many laptop owners have the bad habit of carrying their laptops by the screen. You should avoid this as it can easily break the hinges.

Allow your laptop to cool

Your laptop will overheat if it’s doing too much work. To avoid this, you must create a proper working and cooling environment. For example, you can invest in a good cooling fan. When your laptop gets too hot, close all unwanted programs or turn off the computer entirely to let it cool.

Also Read: Best Educational & Learning Laptops

Upgrade software

You shouldn’t only consider the physical longevity of your laptop. Apple and Windows often add seemingly minor updates every now and then; you should install them all.

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The more regularly you update your laptop, the more efficiently it can run. Aside from the software and OS, ensure you upgrade other apps and programs as old versions are prone to cyber-attacks.

If you don’t update your laptop and safeguard it from viruses and cyber-attacks, you may need to buy a new one sooner than you expect.

Use only OEM-approved parts

When replacing parts of your laptop like your battery, screen, or keyboard, it’s important that you only use original parts. Buying a knockoff replacement because it’s cheaper might incur complications that cost more in the long run.

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When making a repair or purchasing a replacement part, contact the manufacturer or brand directly if you can. Otherwise, use a trusted and renowned vendor.

Don’t overwork your laptop

Laptops have different capabilities. If you use your laptop for more than what it can handle, it won’t last long. Hence, avoid overworking your laptop.

Your laptop will last much longer if you handle it with care, which involves not putting unnecessary stress on it. You shouldn’t run too many heavy programs at a time.

If you’re working on a particular program or webpage, close other active programs and browser tabs you don’t need. You’ll notice your computer performing faster and not heating up as much.

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Conclusion – How Long Does A Laptop Last?

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Generally, average and budget laptop models should last for about three years. On the other hand, a high-end laptop model will last for five years or more.

To get an idea of how long your laptop will last, you can look at the manufacturer’s warranty. However, how long a laptop will last mainly depends on how you use it and maintain it.

If you use your laptop occasionally, it’ll surely last longer than if you use it now and then. To balance the scales, you should get a laptop that matches your tasks.

Finally, if you mismanage your laptop, it can turn bad in a week, even if it’s a high-end model. Investing in routine maintenance will significantly increase the lifespan of your laptop. You’ll not just extend the lifespan but also avoid costly repairs and replacements.